Court: DWI Checkpoints Don’t Have To Be Publicized (Sept. 8, 2016)
On May 8, 2015, Espanola Police Department Officer Albert Rael arrested Michael Salazar. Rael had been called out because Salazar was overdosing. After asking him for his drugs, Rael told Salazar he was going to arrest him and did, once Salazar was released from the hospital.
That arrest flew in the face of New Mexico’s Overdose Prevention Act, which prohibits overdosers or those who call for them from being arrested on drug charges if officers are called to an overdose. Police officials downplayed the arrest and the director of the Law Enforcement Academy compared the 18 days he spent in jail to a traffic ticket.
Now, he is suing the officer for his illegal arrest and a state senator has proposed a bill that would strengthen the Overdose Prevention Act and will propose amendments to punish officers who make illegal arrests, as a result of the coverage of Salazar’s arrest.
City Officer Makes Illegal OD Arrest (June 4, 2015. Page 1)
Law Enforcement Director Downplays OD Arrests (June 11, 2015. Page 1)
Legislator Pre-Files Bills (Jan. 12, 2017. Page 1, Page 2)
City Facing Lawsuit After ODing Man Arrested (Feb. 9, 2017. Page 1, Page 2)